The go a little easy on theists thread
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05-02-2014, 03:05 PM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2014 03:10 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  @EvolutionKills, I'm glad you posted Dawkins' article; however, I had already read it and reading it was the main reason that I considered him a total and utter coward for refusing the debate.


Oh, do tell...


(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  His hogwash about "he's a genocide apologist" is about as blatant an ad hominem as you could possibly use.


I'm sorry, does Craig make excuses to legitimize a literal interpretation of the genocides in the Old Testament? Yes? Then it's not an ad hominem. Dawkins isn't claiming that Craig's position vis-a-vis the existence of god is incorrect because of his genocide apologetics, he is simply saying that he refuses to share the stage with a person who supports such a morally abhorrent position. Dawkins finds Craig repulsive because of the things Craig has actually said, simple as that.



(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  That's like me refusing to debate you on the existence of God because of your stance on abortion (disclaimer, I don't know what your view on it is and I'm not trying to start an abortion discussion).


You could and you would be well within your rights to. However to claim that my position in the debate was incorrect vis-a-vis my stance on abortion would constitute an ad hominem, if say the sole basis of your argument was to use my other position to smear and discredit my position in the debate. Notice however that this is not what happened between Dawkins and Craig.



(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  We'd have a lot fewer debates in parliament if all of the pro-choicers refused to debate the pro-lifers on any topic, and vice versa.


Yeah, except that they're members of parliament and it's their job to discuss and pass policy. If they refuse to do so, they'll have to answer to their constituents and voters. None of these obligations apply to Dawkins (a evolutionary biologist) and Craig (a philosopher).



(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Even if each side thinks the others' view is repugnant, it doesn't make a difference to a discussion about transfer payments for municipal infrastructure. WLC's views on the Old Testament have nothing to do with the proposed debate topic. Using it as an excuse not to debate is a ridiculous smokescreen thrown up by Dawkins.


Has a debate topic been proposed? Then how in the fucking hell can you claim that Craig's position on Biblical genocide would not at all be applicable? Anyways, there are plenty of other reasons to not debate Craig as I've already listed before.

Craig is a dishonest quote miner, a terrible philosopher and logician, is entirely ignorant of his lack of comprehension of science, has a penchant for gish-galloping, and only accepts to debates whenever he has every possible advantage in his favor.



(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Also, it's not like WLC is preaching that we should be committing modern day genocide or anything. He is talking about the morality of events that occurred thousands of years ago.


It's called Divine Command Theory, and it's posits that anything god commands necessarily becomes good and moral; this is how he justifies the genocides of the Old Testament, because they were commanded by Craig's god. This means that the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers are moral, provided you believe that the suicide hijackers were operating under the order of Allah. The only thing Craig can say against the hijackers is that they were following the wrong god, if they were following the right god then what they did would be good and moral according to Craig's theory.

If you hear a voice from god and follow it, according to Craig, anything you do following god's orders is good and moral. Still think this doesn't have real world application now?

Do you bother to actually look up anything before you post? Consider



(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Ultimately, Dawkins may think that WLC's views are repugnant, but that is only because he doesn't believe in a God (and maybe because he's never met a caananite). If you work from the assumptions that WLC is working from ie. God exists, God ordered the attack, and an afterlife exists where any innocents among them would receive eternal bliss in heaven at the cost of transient pain, then the analysis changes a lot.


Therein lies your problem, assuming a god; not only that, but assuming the hyper specific version of Yahweh. Is there any reason to grant this assumption? No. Does that matter to Craig? Nope, he has the self authentication witness of the holy spirit, which tells him that he's right!

Gee, I just can't imagine why nobody would ever not want to debate the old Craigster... Dodgy



(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Now, I reject those premises myself, but working from those premises the whole thing actually is consistent. Especially, since God could easily judge the caananites more leniently in the afterlife than he otherwise would have on account of ending their lives early and taking away their opportunity to "turn from their wicked ways" later in life. We couldn't possibly know the answer to that.


Once again, the fatal flaw of Divine Command Theory is that it is not god independent, but rather very god dependant. If you do not grant the existence of god, it falls apart. If you apply it to a god other than Yahweh, you get a different set of morality than Craig's. There is nothing Craig can say to position his Yahweh's morality as any more moral than someone positing a Allah or Buddha based Divine Command Theory; because all religious god concepts lack sufficient evidence to establish their existence. So it all ends up being a push, and is therefore useless in determining anything (outside of Craig's and yours penchant for doing backflips in the defence of genocide).



(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Either way, I'm not going to address your other reasons because those aren't the ones that Dawkins uses to avoid the debate. Dawkins just puts his tail between his legs and tries to distract people's attention from the fact that he was too much of a coward to accept a challenge.


Then the same applies to Craig for his repeated and continued refusal to debate John W. Loftus, and it's once again a push. Except not quite because Craig has been very inconsistent and wishy washy about why he won't debate Loftus, making Craig both a coward and a liar. So much for your white knight. Drinking Beverage

"Either way, I'm not going to address your other reasons because those aren't the ones that Dawkins uses to avoid the debate."

Uh...

"puts his tail between his legs and tries to distract people's attention from the fact that he was too much of a coward to accept a challenge."

You're lack of self awareness is shocking. So I take it you're pussying out here too? Good to know...

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05-02-2014, 03:22 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(05-02-2014 02:20 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  (Heh. On a side note, it's been a while since I was called "Mr. Pants". This was actually suggested at my wedding rehearsal ten years ago for how my wife and I wanted to be introduced after we were pronounced husband and wife: Mr. and Mrs. The Pants.)

That's delightful Smile Argh... for some reason I'm in a wonderful mood right now...

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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05-02-2014, 03:38 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(05-02-2014 03:22 PM)morondog Wrote:  That's delightful Smile Argh... for some reason I'm in a wonderful mood right now...

That's a good thing. Endorprhins are great. Roll with it!
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05-02-2014, 03:49 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
Hey Morondog, you are pretty close, I think I'd modify it to the following:

1. Everything that exists and has a beginning must have a cause.
2. The universe exists and has a beginning.
3. Therefore the universe has a cause which exists.
4. That cause may or may not have a beginning.
5. If the cause has a beginning then it must have a cause too.
6. Either the chain must continue infinitely, or a cause must exist that had no beginning.
7. An infinite chain is impossible.
8. A first cause is possible.
9. Therefore, a first cause must exist that had no beginning.

For the sake of avoiding unnecessary aspects, I'll just stop there and leave out the part of naming the first cause, because the word 'God' is loaded and could be construed as a jump in logic.

Obviously, any one of these premises can be questioned. For instance, you may reject #7 and say that an infinite chain is not impossible, in which case you would be left with two conclusions which, at least theoretically, are possible and the question would be: which of the two options is more likely to be true. Either way, we are dealing in things that are beyond human comprehension (I don't think the existence of an infinite chain without a beginning is any more comprehensible to the human mind than the idea of a cause that does not require a cause), accordingly, we may never know the answer for certain (at least in this life)

You are right when you mention how far the intelligence of any such being would be beyond our own. Perhaps, the word intelligence is not the right one to use, because the word implies 'human intelligence'. Perhaps, the more general concept "free will" is the one to use. In other words, simply that the first cause would have the decision to be able to make decisions spontaneously, without external cause.

(05-02-2014 01:43 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  What I'm getting at is this: so, we'll reject infinite regression. If this is the case, we are assuming something started everything, basing this on what we've seen thus far around us. If we assume the thing that started the universe if God, that begs the question "What caused God?

Since we're not going infinite regression here, I assume the answer isn't "God's dad", or something, because, what would have caused him. So, you will have to give God some arbitrary qualities (such as being "timeless" or "eternal", or whatever) to solve this problem. There are two unanswered questions with this approach:

1) Why (or even, how) is God timeless? Just because you say so? Asserting something, even if it helps your argument, doesn't make it true.

2) Why couldn't the universe simply be timeless, instead? Why does whatever event that seeded this whole thing have to be God? For sake of this argument, all "God" is, is a means of explaining an otherwise unexplained phenomenon.

Does that make more sense? If not, what part am I not being clear on?


Also, on a side note, "I don't know" is a perfectly valid answer to the first cause argument. It's not like any of us can observe the beginning of the universe, and there's no evidence that God exists that doesn't require you to assume he exists in the first place.

Well, you are right. I don't claim to know 100%, and I never will know. I'm just trying to figure out the answer as best as I can.

How or why is God timeless? That isn't the question we are actually looking at here. The question that we are looking at is: What explains the fact that we exist?

To answer that question, we have two options: 1. a first cause (whether you cause it God, Frank or Banana), or 2. an infinite regress of causes and effects.

Your question of 'how or why is God timeless' is one that we likely will never have the ability to comprehend. That having been said, we also will never have the ability to comprehend how or why an infinite regress of causes and effects could possibly exist. And, if we can't know the 'how' or 'why' with respect to either possible scenario, then how does the question assist the inquiry? That having been said, I also don't understand (and don't need to understand) the technical details of how and why my cell phone works. I just need to know that works.

On your second question, I think we may need to break down what it would mean for the universe to be timeless. I think it would mean as follows, but let me know if you have a different conception:

The universe is tough to speak about as a whole here, because what we refer to as the universe is a collection. That collection includes matter (or the atoms that make it up), the mass energy of that matter, the space between matter and the rules of the universe (e.g. gravity). The universe also includes more complex structures (such as planets, stars and living creatures), but we know that those are not timeless, as we have evidence of those things being created (from the component matter) and destroyed (back into the component matter). Nevertheless, I think the argument of a timeless universe would be: that the component parts (atoms, space and mass energy) were present timelessly, as were the rules governing them (the fundamental constants).

So, if those are the timeless aspects of the universe, how did they come together to form themselves into the structures that make up the universe as we now know it? Well, the best explanation that science has now is the big bang, but if those elements (atoms, energy, space and rules) are timeless, then they must have existed before that. That having been said, based on the comments of others (a couple from these forums) my understanding of the big bang is that at least two of those elements break down at the time of the big bang. I'm told that the rules break down at the point of the big bang, and also that the space between atoms disappears at that time (as all of the universe's atoms exist in the space of a singularity). If that is true, then we can reject those aspects of the universe as being timeless, as the scientific evidence demonstrates a time at which those do not exist.

We are then left with atoms and energy as being possible timeless elements. The problem is that atoms and energy alone don't have the necessary properties to create anything. They are the building blocks, but that's it.

The problem with the timeless universe argument, in my mind, is that the aspects of the universe that are timeless do not have the properties necessary to explain our existence. The aspects of the universe that display a timeless character, at least according to the big bang theory, are building blocks. They require outside causes to be able to do anything. The timeless elements of the universe still require an outside cause in order to explain how they form into our current universe. So, is it explained by a transient cause? Well, maybe, but that begs the question of what caused that transient cause, which results in an infinite regress. Therefore, even if the universe is timeless (in the sense that it's building blocks are timeless) it doesn't explain our current existence without an infinite regress.
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05-02-2014, 04:11 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(05-02-2014 03:05 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  His hogwash about "he's a genocide apologist" is about as blatant an ad hominem as you could possibly use.


I'm sorry, does Craig make excuses to legitimize a literal interpretation of the genocides in the Old Testament? Yes? Then it's not an ad hominem. Dawkins isn't claiming that Craig's position vis-a-vis the existence of god is incorrect because of his genocide apologetics, he is simply saying that he refuses to share the stage with a person who supports such a morally abhorrent position. Dawkins finds Craig repulsive because of the things Craig has actually said, simple as that.

Oh, so he's not saying his argument is wrong because of his opinion on an unrelated matter, he just refuses to debate any subject with him because he disagrees with him on a completely unrelated matter. Oh, well that makes it all better Rolleyes

If Floyd Mayweather had refused to fight Manny Pacquiao because of Manny's opinion on abortion, do you think people would have considered that to be a legitimate reason? No, people would have said it was a smokescreen and he was actually scared to fight Manny, and the situation is no different with Dawkins.

And, don't give me that disingenuous crap about Dawkins' job is not to debate, he is an evolutionary biologist. Dawkins certainly gets paid to debate, therefore, it is one of his jobs. And, aside from worrying about whether he gets paid to debate, he certainly wrote the God Delusion as part of his 'job' (whether he did it as an evolutionary biologist or anything else). He was challenged to defend the position that he put forth in his book. Is it not part of a scientist's job to defend his published findings?

I'm not sure why you are trying to convince me about Divine Command Theory, because I already told you I agree with you on it. I don't think Craig is right on that, I just don't think it is a legit reason for Dawkins to refuse to debate him.

As for why I didn't reply to your other stuff, the position that I am putting forward is (and always has been) this:

Dawkins is a coward who ran from a debate with WLC because he was afraid

I state this because you seem to think that my position is: Dawkins should debate WLC.

That's not my position at all, and the other points you made were all irrelevant to my actual point (which was Dawkins-focused, not WLC focussed). In fact, I think Dawkins is smart for not debating WLC. Mostly, I feel that way because Dawkins is a useless hack who is pretty good at self promotion, but a pretty sorry excuse for a scientist. As such, I think he is perfectly justified in being afraid to debate...but that doesn't mean that he isn't afraid.
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05-02-2014, 05:44 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(05-02-2014 09:56 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  @EvolutionKills, I'm glad you posted Dawkins' article; however, I had already read it and reading it was the main reason that I considered him a total and utter coward for refusing the debate.

His hogwash about "he's a genocide apologist" is about as blatant an ad hominem as you could possibly use. That's like me refusing to debate you on the existence of God because of your stance on abortion (disclaimer, I don't know what your view on it is and I'm not trying to start an abortion discussion). We'd have a lot fewer debates in parliament if all of the pro-choicers refused to debate the pro-lifers on any topic, and vice versa. Even if each side thinks the others' view is repugnant, it doesn't make a difference to a discussion about transfer payments for municipal infrastructure. WLC's views on the Old Testament have nothing to do with the proposed debate topic. Using it as an excuse not to debate is a ridiculous smokescreen thrown up by Dawkins.

Also, it's not like WLC is preaching that we should be committing modern day genocide or anything. He is talking about the morality of events that occurred thousands of years ago. Ultimately, Dawkins may think that WLC's views are repugnant, but that is only because he doesn't believe in a God (and maybe because he's never met a caananite). If you work from the assumptions that WLC is working from ie. God exists, God ordered the attack, and an afterlife exists where any innocents among them would receive eternal bliss in heaven at the cost of transient pain, then the analysis changes a lot. Now, I reject those premises myself, but working from those premises the whole thing actually is consistent. Especially, since God could easily judge the caananites more leniently in the afterlife than he otherwise would have on account of ending their lives early and taking away their opportunity to "turn from their wicked ways" later in life. We couldn't possibly know the answer to that.

Either way, I'm not going to address your other reasons because those aren't the ones that Dawkins uses to avoid the debate. Dawkins just puts his tail between his legs and tries to distract people's attention from the fact that he was too much of a coward to accept a challenge.

The fact is that Dawkins has debated Creationists before, and you can find videos of him doing this on YouTube. In fact, Kirk Cameron challenged him to a debate on the O'Reilly Factor, and he went against his usual rule and accepted the challenge. As soon as he accepted it, Cameron decided to tuck tail and run and dropped out of the debate. So Dawkins has given up doing so because it is basically pointless. What is the point of debating with somebody who believes that the Bible is 100% true and historically accurate because it is the word of some omnipotent, infallible man in the sky, even though there are mountains of proof against Biblical claims and the book is filled with tons of immoral crap. The only reason these people believe this ridiculous garbage is because they were indoctrinated to believe in it, and they don't want to entertain the notion that something that they have been brought up to believe in their entire life might not be true.





You seem to have made up your mind that you are a deist and a creator absolutely exists. If that is the case, what is the point of coming to an atheist forum? We can show you all the evidence that science has provided in answering so many questions we have had about life on Earth and the universe itself. However, from what I have seen you are set on the idea that a god exists. This is why atheists get angry. You claim you came here looking for answers, but when those answers are provided you simply say that you are sticking to your stance no matter what, then criticize the atheists here for getting angry about that.

You believe in the existence of a creator because the universe exists, therefore, in your opinion, the universe was created. Ok, so if a creator exists, then where did the creator come from? Your argument is shot down right then and there, unless you are going to ignore deism and go on religious reasoning (even though that still shoots down their argument) and use the Bible and other holy texts as "proof".

Debating crackpot creationists like Ken Ham is ridiculous because they refuse to acknowledge the mountains of evidence that prove their holy book wrong and say "I don't care about your evidence! My religious beliefs are true and that's all there is to it!" As Dawkins pointed out, a biologist like him having debates with crackpots like Ken Ham is like a reproductive scientist having a debate with an advocate of the stork theory. People like that are not worth debating, and debating with them is giving them status and saying that they have a valid argument when they do not.

The whole argument of atheists is this: PROVIDE EVIDENCE! Not holy books with a bunch of crap made up by man, not a suggestion with no proof, but GOOD, SOLID EVIDENCE! Not one creationist has done that on here. They merely spout the same crap that they were indoctrinated to believe in, and it gets quite annoying. If you're a deist, that's fine. Nobody here has a problem with that. You can believe whatever the hell you want to believe, and we don't care so long as you aren't trying to push your beliefs on everyone else. Personally, I have no issues with you or your beliefs. The problem is you can't come here claiming to be having an open mind, then calling atheists hateful when you have obviously already made up your mind about your beliefs, no matter how much evidence they provide. That merely sounds like the actions of a religious person trying to paint atheists in a bad light. That may not be your intentions, but that's how it comes across.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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05-02-2014, 06:46 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(05-02-2014 05:44 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  The fact is that Dawkins has debated Creationists before, and you can find videos of him doing this on YouTube. In fact, Kirk Cameron challenged him to a debate on the O'Reilly Factor, and he went against his usual rule and accepted the challenge. As soon as he accepted it, Cameron decided to tuck tail and run and dropped out of the debate. So Dawkins has given up doing so because it is basically pointless. What is the point of debating with somebody who believes that the Bible is 100% true and historically accurate because it is the word of some omnipotent, infallible man in the sky, even though there are mountains of proof against Biblical claims and the book is filled with tons of immoral crap. The only reason these people believe this ridiculous garbage is because they were indoctrinated to believe in it, and they don't want to entertain the notion that something that they have been brought up to believe in their entire life might not be true.

You seem to have made up your mind that you are a deist and a creator absolutely exists. If that is the case, what is the point of coming to an atheist forum? We can show you all the evidence that science has provided in answering so many questions we have had about life on Earth and the universe itself. However, from what I have seen you are set on the idea that a god exists. This is why atheists get angry. You claim you came here looking for answers, but when those answers are provided you simply say that you are sticking to your stance no matter what, then criticize the atheists here for getting angry about that.

You believe in the existence of a creator because the universe exists, therefore, in your opinion, the universe was created. Ok, so if a creator exists, then where did the creator come from? Your argument is shot down right then and there, unless you are going to ignore deism and go on religious reasoning (even though that still shoots down their argument) and use the Bible and other holy texts as "proof".

Debating crackpot creationists like Ken Ham is ridiculous because they refuse to acknowledge the mountains of evidence that prove their holy book wrong and say "I don't care about your evidence! My religious beliefs are true and that's all there is to it!" As Dawkins pointed out, a biologist like him having debates with crackpots like Ken Ham is like a reproductive scientist having a debate with an advocate of the stork theory. People like that are not worth debating, and debating with them is giving them status and saying that they have a valid argument when they do not.

The whole argument of atheists is this: PROVIDE EVIDENCE! Not holy books with a bunch of crap made up by man, not a suggestion with no proof, but GOOD, SOLID EVIDENCE! Not one creationist has done that on here. They merely spout the same crap that they were indoctrinated to believe in, and it gets quite annoying. If you're a deist, that's fine. Nobody here has a problem with that. You can believe whatever the hell you want to believe, and we don't care so long as you aren't trying to push your beliefs on everyone else. Personally, I have no issues with you or your beliefs. The problem is you can't come here claiming to be having an open mind, then calling atheists hateful when you have obviously already made up your mind about your beliefs, no matter how much evidence they provide. That merely sounds like the actions of a religious person trying to paint atheists in a bad light. That may not be your intentions, but that's how it comes across.

First of all, you should look up William Lane Craig before responding. He argues for intelligent design, but is not a young earth creationist. He is a well-known philosophy professor with over 30 books and hundreds of scholarly articles written as one of the foremost Christian Apologists active right now. He has also debated with a large number of very well known atheist scientists, and you will never hear him say in any of those debates "it's true because the Bible says so."

And, just for the record, I am not bagging on atheist just because I bag on Dawkins. There are some very intelligent and respectful atheist thinkers...Dawkins just happens not to be one of them.

As for me, Windy, you are just making bald assumptions. You should know that I didn't even know what a deist was before coming on this page. I constantly examine and often change my beliefs on different issues. I used to be a Christian, and changed my view on that.

Frankly, I came on this site at first because I am engaged to an atheist woman, who I love very much. I came on here looking for the atheist perspective to understand where she is coming from and to see if there is anything to it.

I've been accused a couple of times on here of not "looking for answers" because I don't accept every argument given to me on here. The fact of the matter is that the arguments I didn't accept just weren't good arguments, in my opinion. And, anytime I didn't accept one I have given detailed reasons why.

Your "where did the creator argument" is one that I have addressed a seemingly countless number of times. In fact, I countered it just a page or two ago on this exact thread. If you think that is the be-all and end-all counter to that argument then you should maybe think about how open-minded you are being.

The problem with your counter is that it leads to an infinite regress. You have trouble believing in a creator, but can you conceive of a universe with no beginning wherein an infinite chain of cause and effects has occurred in the past? Because, that seems to be the alternative, unless reality simply burst into being spontaneously.

On your last point, you can look back at my posts, but I have certainly never called atheists hateful. Yeah, I criticized Dawkins, but I certainly don't criticize him because he is an atheist, I criticize him because he is an ass. None of my comments about him should be in any way construed as an attack against any atheist not named Richard Dawkins. If you took them as such, I apologize and I understand your criticism, but please know that it is not meant that way. Like I mentioned, I am in love with an atheist, and I certainly would not be if I considered her or her atheist family to be hateful.

I'm just on here to learn more about the atheist perspective (maybe find some answers in there), have some intellectually stimulating discussions and maybe provide a bit of a different perspective. After all, how boring would this forum be if you just had a bunch of atheists agreeing about everything, lol?
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05-02-2014, 07:46 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(05-02-2014 10:34 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(05-02-2014 09:04 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Special pleading is a formal logical fallacy where a participant demands special considerations for a particular premise of theirs. Usually this is because in order for their argument to work, they need to provide some way to get out of a logical inconsistency — in a lot of cases, this will be the fact that their argument contradicts past arguments or actions. Therefore, they introduce a "special case" or an exception to their rules.

While this is acceptable in genuine special cases, it becomes a formal fallacy when a person doesn't adequately justify why the case is special.

In the Thomistic cosmological argument for the existence of God, everything requires a cause. However, proponents of the argument then create a special case where God doesn't need a cause, but they can't say why in any particularly rigorous fashion. (One response to this argument, beyond pointing out the fallacy, would be to point out that nature itself could have existed eternally in some form just as they say God had existed eternally before creating nature. Although used before him, one modern philosopher who has applied this argument is Carl Sagan.)

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special_pleading

I partially responded to this issue above.

Your "response" was inaccurate and disingenuous.


Quote:It may be that the problem is the term "special pleading" gets thrown about in a couple of different ways. I still don't think it applies based on my previous comments; however, your comment raises an interesting point with your statement that, "While this is acceptable in genuine special cases, it becomes a formal fallacy when a person doesn't adequately justify why the case is special."

Yes, it applies: You claim that your "first cause" is magically "exempt" from "beginning to exist" (which phrase is in itself disingenuous trickery).



Quote:Say you use the premise the way you have stated it (which was not the way I stated it) "everything has a cause". That premise has to have a "special pleading" exception or else life would not exist. Whether that pleading is, "an infinite regress of causes and effects is possible" or "a first cause started the cause and effect chain" is the debate, but either of those requires a "special pleading" because either one requires an exemption from the premise that "everything has a cause".


So you DO admit that it requires a special-pleading fallacy. QED.


Quote: If we just reject both of those possibilities based on being "special pleadings" then we are left with no possible solutions to the question of how we could possibly exist (like I say, unless I am missing a third option).

So now you see WHY it's a bullshit argument. MAKING SHIT UP to fill the void -- which is what you and every other proponent of the kalaam bullshit is doing -- is dishonest sleight of hand.



Quote: So, at least one of the "special pleadings" then becomes necessary


....to prop up a piece of shit "argument". But you do it anyway because you refuse to admit that it's a piece of shit and abandon it.


Quote: as long as you are comfortable with the assumption that "we exist". The question then only becomes, "which special pleading is more likely?"

You are really digging yourself deeper in your hole.


Quote:If you want to formulate the issue in that manner, sure, but it still removes "special pleading" as an answer to the cosmological argument and simply replaces it with "which specially-pled made-up piece of bullshit" is the most likely solution to the question of our existence?"

fixed that for ya.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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05-02-2014, 07:50 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(05-02-2014 03:49 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Well, you are right. I don't claim to know 100%, and I never will know. I'm just trying to figure out the answer as best as I can.

How or why is God timeless? That isn't the question we are actually looking at here. The question that we are looking at is: What explains the fact that we exist?

To answer that question, we have two options: 1. a first cause (whether you cause it God, Frank or Banana), or 2. an infinite regress of causes and effects.

Your question of 'how or why is God timeless' is one that we likely will never have the ability to comprehend. That having been said, we also will never have the ability to comprehend how or why an infinite regress of causes and effects could possibly exist. And, if we can't know the 'how' or 'why' with respect to either possible scenario, then how does the question assist the inquiry? That having been said, I also don't understand (and don't need to understand) the technical details of how and why my cell phone works. I just need to know that works.

Thanks for your honesty on that (about not knowing and admitting that it's unknowable).

Now, do you see how all you're doing is "regressing" one step further back than me? Someone asks me how the universe starts, and I say "I don't know.". Someone asks you how the universe starts and you say "God.". They ask you how God starts, and you say "I don't know".

It's effectively the exact same thing, except I'm making one fewer assumption (I'm not claiming that makes it right, I'm just stating why I don't feel the first cause argument proves God; it assumes God).

As for explaining how we got here, I think the above covers that. We're both saying "I don't know" at some point. I just say so one step earlier and make one fewer assumption.
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05-02-2014, 07:51 PM
RE: The go a little easy on theists thread
(05-02-2014 04:11 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Dawkins is a coward who ran from a debate with WLC because he was afraid

Dawkins won't debate Craig because Craig is a lying, disingenuous cheater who uses well-known cheating tactics to appear to "win" debates that he can't win playing straight.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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